Customer expectations change daily, so customer service trends should adapt to keep up. Organisations from all sectors should do their best to keep up with emerging public requirements to meet their expectations and foster better relationships if they want to keep their competitive edge.
The last few years have ushered in a new paradigm for customer experience and service across all sectors. The focus shifted to customer experience over product to enable brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. 96% of customers state they find customer experience the main motivator when supporting a brand. Also, 86% of them are willing to pay more if the company offers an excellent customer experience.
This article takes a deep dive into what an excellent customer service experience means, the latest trends in the industry, and the strategies that can help businesses retain customers in 2022.
What is an excellent customer service experience?
If you run a company and want to attract and retain customers, you want to understand what an excellent customer service experience implies so you can provide it to your clients. As stated before, customer expectations continue to evolve, so you should develop a customised approach for handling your customers. Nowadays, people expect friendly customer service and a personalised response that reduces situation stress or other issues. Your business should anticipate your clients’ needs early in their journey and provide them with custom services based on their individual preferences and needs. Remember that human nature demands empathetic connections.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect the benefits AI technology provides. You should supplement AI customer service technology with human support, interaction, and interpretation to provide your clients with a top-notch experience. If you deliver a customised experience, you can build loyalty and trust among your audience, resulting in higher retention levels and increased profit.
Watch out for the trends that will impact customer service experience in 2022
Now that you know what excellent customer service implies let’s look at the trends expected to shape the future of customer service experience.
Proactive vs. reactive customer service
Nowadays, the focus shifted to providing proactive customer service that implies identifying potential issues in advance and predicting their occurrence to provide a better experience for clients.
With 50% of customers willing to shift to a competitor if you fail to anticipate their needs, you should ensure you can predict their requirements and prevent issues become becoming major complaints.
Customers experience automation
Automation is the new normal in all sectors, and organisations that fail to embrace it will be left out. 90% of companies plan to integrate AI in 2022 to automate customer interactions with the help of machine learning and AI. A study of Millennials and Gen Z groups shows that 60% of them prefer AR/VR or virtual assistant help over-the-phone support.
Customer data protection
Customising customer experience often implies the loss of privacy. But security and transparency are crucial in the individual experiences businesses offer their public. These days people are security conscious regarding potential hacking threats to their data security. Therefore, companies should share openly how they collect and store customer sensitive information. They should prioritise the safe handling of customer information to maintain enhanced customer trust.
A holistic approach to customer experience
It’s the ideal time to provide your clients with a multilingual customer experience and multi-market support. Several brands revealed they want to make the shift to provide the clients with a total customer journey focusing on individual needs. Customer service trends demand robust internal communications to improve the process and streamline customer-brand interaction.
Strategies to adopt to attract and retain customers
Don’t forget the good old phone customer support
You’re living in a world of digital communications where people seem not to use their smartphones for calling. Well, that’s a misconception because many individuals use their phones to talk to businesses. Therefore, don’t deprive your customers of the chance to reach your representatives by phone because many age groups feel more comfortable using their phones when they need support. To improve the phone customer service, use on hold music to keep them entertained as they wait for one of your agents to answer. The older generation might not know how to send an email or a message on social media, but they definitely know how to dial your customer service number. However, ensure you provide them with a professional phone line that offers them information about your service and guides their steps to reach the right agent.
Use the right tools
You’re running your business at a time when you have a plethora of tools to improve your operations. Equip your customer service team with the tools required to provide top-notch services to your clients. Modern tools enhance support quality and make your team’s job easier because they offer access to a centralised database, facilitate 24/7 support and enable your agents to offer faster service.
Provide your clients with access to an omnichannel
81% of buyers state that a positive customer service experience encourages them to make another purchase, so you should make an effort to provide a journey that caters to their needs. A way to ensure you retain customers and encourage loyalty is to offer access to omnichannel support. You already know that phones are important for high-quality customer service, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to offering a single method of communication. Your customer service should integrate everything from social media chat to phone calls and email.
Encourage customer feedback
All organisations should accept that they’re not doing everything perfectly. There’s no such thing as a flawless business or impeccable customer support, and everyone should strive to be better. You’re running a business in a competitive sector and should always be in search of ways to improve customer service. Nobody knows what your clients want better than them, so ask for customer feedback and incorporate it into your business strategy. Customer feedback is a valuable business asset.
Customer service is the backbone of a successful business, so ensure your support team has access to all the necessary tools to provide top-notch experiences and retain customers.